The website address google.co.za, which many South Africans use to access the Google search engine, was unavailable on Friday – apparently because the company failed to renew the domain.
Popular subdomains, including news.google.co.za and maps.google.co.za were also unavailable.
TechCentral reader Marcel Oudejans noticed on Friday morning that google.co.za was unreachable and performed a “whois lookup”, a commonly used method of checking the registration status of an Internet domain.
The “whois” results showed that the domain expired on 25 June 2022, was not re-registered by Google upon expiration and is now pending deletion. If it is deleted, anyone might be able to register it and claim it as their own.
The google.co.za domain was registered by MarkMonitor on Google’s behalf. According to WikiPedia, MarkMonitor is a US software company that protects corporate brands from Internet counterfeiting, fraud, piracy and cybersquatting.
— Marcel Oudejans🌻🇿🇦🇺🇦 (@Marcel_Perform) July 1, 2022
As the google.co.za domain hasn’t yet been deleted, MarkMonitor can still cough up the small amount of money required – typically less than R100 – to secure access to the domain again on behalf of its client.
TechCentral has asked Google for comment about what happened and will update this article if and when a response is received.
Google.com remains accessible for South Africans wishing to utilise the popular search engine. – © 2022 NewsCentral Media
- Update: By 1.15pm on Friday, the domain was working correctly again.